Clarke Bloodstock news

Bloodstock Bulletin

Jim Clarke
September 1, 2023

News from the track

Arapaho at his most recent exhibition gallop

Arapaho Guns for The Japan Cup

A hefty carrot dangles for ARAPAHO and his owners as he takes aim at the 2400m Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday 26 November. The time-honoured Japanese race carries a purse of AUD$9m and Arapaho received an invitation to compete following his tough win in the Group 1 Tancred Stakes at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.

Arapaho was set to resume his preparation in the Winx Stakes earlier this month but unfortunately spiked a temperature which has caused a disruption to the start of his Spring campaign. He appears to have overcome this setback and will most likely have his first-up run in the 7 Stakes over 1600m at Randwick on September 17. His Spring preparation might include a crack at the Cox Plate and/or the Mackinnon Stakes before jet-setting to Japan.

Arapaho was purchased at the Arqana Deauville Autumn Mixed sale on behalf of Bjorn Baker Racing and clients for €140,000. He has won five races, four at stakes level and has amassed over $1.8 million for his new owners. We are always looking for tried horses from Europe to import to Australia and Jim will be attending the upcoming horses in training sales in the UK in October.

Diamond Dealer

Win of the week - Diamond Dealer

Dundeel mare DIAMOND DEALER added another impressive win to her resumé when taking out the last race at Rosehill on Saturday. She had been knocking on the door this preparation with a number of strong runs for trainer Bjorn Baker before finishing too strongly in Benchmark 88 grade under Tyler Schiller.

Progressing nicely through the ranks this year, Diamond Dealer has now won 6 races from 16 starts with $285,000 in prizemoney earnings. She was one of three purchases for the Clarke Bloodstock Fillies Partnership in 2020 and will take aim at stakes races through the Spring and the Summer with a possible tilt at the Group 3 Tibbie Stakes at Newcastle on Friday 15 September her immediate aim.

Clarke Bloodstock Events

Clarke Bloodstock Stallion Parade Tour Group 2023 at Macedon Lodge
Rubick x Santa Fe yearling filly purchased privately from Swettenham Stud for Bjorn Baker Racing

Victorian Stallion Parades

Following on from our tour to the Hunter Valley in 2022, this year we hosted a group of 30 clients in Victoria in late August for their annual stallion parades. The group consisted of hobby and commercial breeders as well as some racehorse owners. We stayed at the Mitchelton Winery and, over three days, enjoyed the hospitality at leading stud farms including Yulong, Darley, Swettenham, Widden, Blue Gum Farm and Leneva Park.  

The strength of the Victorian breeding industry was on show for all to see and these premier farms showcased stallions at all levels of the market. From the proven producers like Written Tycoon, Street Boss, and Toronado, to the exciting youth of Tagaloa, Blue Point, Sejardan and Fierce Impact, there is something for every breeder and broodmare within the Victorian stallion ranks. The abundance of Danehill-free bloodlines on offer highlighted an opportunity to diversify bloodstock portfolios with commercial international sire lines.   

The team was also lucky enough to visit some of Australia’s best training facilities in Macedon Lodge and Lindsay Park. Previously owned by Lloyd Williams, Macedon Lodge was the base for Melbourne Cup winners Efficient, Green Moon and Almandin. Its recent takeover by Bruce Dixon now sees leading trainers Chris Waller, Andrew Forsman and Liam Howley train from the state-of-the-art base 45km from Melbourne. The Hayes family also made us feel very welcome at Lindsay Park, home to the stable flagbearers of Mr Brightside and Little Brose. 

During our visit to Swettenham Stud our team inspected their yearling crop and have negotiated the private purchase of a very nice filly by their resident sire Rubick, from a young Lope De Vega mare to be syndicated and trained by Bjorn Baker. If you would like to know more about this filly and the ownership opportunities in the syndicate please get in touch with Aleesha, Jim or Bjorn.  

We would like to extend our thanks to all of the hosts at the farms and training stables who helped make the tour so memorable!

Jim's judgement

Too Darn Hot

Stallion fees - Value in the market

Today marks the first day of the 2023 breeding season and our team have spent hours pouring over pedigrees, analysing stallion data, reviewing service fees and inspecting mares and foals owned by our clients. There are a multitude of factors to consider when deciding on mating plans for broodmares but the ultimate objective is to find value in the market and use data insights to forecast years in advance and predict which stallions will be successful and fashionable when the progeny mature to racing or selling age.  

Of the younger brigade Widden Stud’s SUPIDO is low flying having sired BUENOS NOCHES who won very impressively last month in the Group 3 Show County. WHAT YOU NEED is another exciting horse from Supido’s first crop, undefeated from 3 starts in Victoria and is set to resume in the Group 3 McEwen Stakes. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Supido could have two runners in The Everest this year and these horses are two of the 75 foals bred from his first crop at a fee of $10,000 + GST. His numbers in subsequent years have dipped but he covered a book of 170 mares last year which gives him every chance to continue on an upward trajectory and there is a great value play in breeding to Supido this year at an advertised fee of $18,000 + GST.

Darley’s shuttle stallion TOO DARN HOT has had a sizzling start to stud, with three individual Group 3 winners from his first crop of runners in Europe. In fact, no first-season sire in Europe has had as many individual Group winners at this stage for 20 years. His pin-up horses FALLEN ANGEL, DARNATION and CAROLINA REAPER all appear to have the scope to progress into their 3yo season like their sire and you would reasonably expect that his progeny will continue to improve as they are stretched out in distance. Exciting signs of what is to come from his first Australian crop that have just turned 2 and if they show the same precocity as their European counterparts, it will be hard to buy his yearlings next year. We suspect this year may be the last chance to breed to him at $40,000 + GST.

Foal watch

St Mark's Basilica x Irresistable Girl filly

New arrivals at Ridgmont

Foaling season is well underway and the first arrival was Neil Smith’s ST MARK’S BASILICA filly from IRRESISTABLE GIRL on Sunday 13 August. Irresistable Girl, by I AM INVINCIBLE, won two races and placed at Moonee Valley. She is a half-sister to the stakes-placed SAM’S IMAGE, out of the stakes-placed mare ILLUSIONIST. St Mark's Basilica was a five-time Group 1 winner and this filly is from his first Australian crop. Such was the quality of the foal Coolmore have used her photo in their advertising campaigns for the stallion.

On Monday 28 August, the FRANKEL mare GOLDEN HOOVES foaled down her second foal, a strong colt by CAPITALIST at Ridgmont Farm for Cunningham Thoroughbreds. Her first foal, a filly by PIERRO, is showing plenty of promise in New Zealand with trainer Andrew Forsman after he purchased her at the 2022 Inglis Classic Yearling sale for $220,000.

The inside scoop

Galifianakis winning at Doomben
Archer Park Racing & winning connections of Galifianakis

Runners on the rise

Well-bred filly BONITA QUEEN is one to watch at Hawkesbury on Saturday in the $60,000 Super 3yo Maiden Handicap. By I Am Invincible out of Group 2 winner Quilista, this filly ran 2nd on debut last start and impressed trainer Bjorn Baker with a jumpout since. She should be better for the race experience.

Jack Bruce and Archer Park Racing’s GALIFIANAKIS is another to follow after a great run last start at Doomben, being run down late by the stablemate who had a 5kg pull in the weights. He won’t have the same problem when he targets a Benchmark 90 2200m on 9 September where he will only be carrying 52.5kg. A $60,000 Inglis Digital purchase, this horse has been a revelation winning 5 races for connections and nearly $130,000 in prizemoney.

From the horses mouth

Arapaho & Bjorn Baker

Bjorn Baker Racing Instalive

Every Friday Bjorn posts a profile of his weekend runners on his Instagram page . He is a particularly poor punter so please take his tips with a grain of salt but there is often plenty of interesting insights and a behind the scenes look into the stable and trackwork.

Click here to watch!
Jim Clarke
Horse racing agent & consultant
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